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Day 40 of California’s Shelter in Place

Posted by Susan A Reynolds | April 28th, 2020

Day 40 of California’s Shelter in Place


I’m feeling so over it, but it’s not over.


The threat of coronavirus hasn’t ended, and the economic recovery process hasn’t even begun. We can’t cancel the terrible journey we’re on, but we could take home the only souvenir worth receiving during hardship: authentic growth.


This crisis is unavoidable.

The only thing avoidable is personal growth.

We didn’t choose this mess,

but we can choose how we respond to it.


Jesus suffered in the wilderness without friends or food for forty days. His trials didn’t stop when he came home. Noah’s family endured forty days of steady rain on the ark. Their voyage wasn’t over when the rain stopped.


How did Jesus get through it?

He knew who he was and what he was called to do.

How did Noah get through it?

He knew who God was and what God called him to do.


Who is God?

I like John’s answer to this question. After years of processing all he’d experienced as Jesus’s disciple and as a leader in the early church, John summed it all up very simply: God is love.

Who am I and what am I called to do?

I’m Susan. Just like you, I’m a unique shiny-living-mirror tile on this beautiful disco ball we call Earth. Just as the earth reflects the sun’s light, I’m here to receive and reflect the love of God.


You and I are here to love and be loved.


We face a pandemic and an uncertain future.

Love’s our highest and best possible response to this crisis.


Love for & from God.

Love for & from our neighbors.

Love for & from each of us.

What’s love look like?

Anything which supports growth and health: physically, emotionally, socially and spiritually. Love is why many of us stay home and why scientists search for solutions.


Love empowers profound heroism,

plain compassion and everything in between.

Love transforms us.


I’m seeing a lot of love lately.

Customers spontaneously applauding grocery store workers.

Artists drawing beautiful chalk messages on sidewalks.

Medical personnel serving their patients.

Neighbors taking good care of themselves and following safety guidelines.

Musicians performing on their porches.

A teenage girl in our neighborhood raising over $7000 for the local food bank. 


Find a way to love, today and everyday.

When you do, post a comment here and tell us about it.


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32 responses to “Day 40 of California’s Shelter in Place”

  1. Alice Crider says:

    Amen! and well said, Susan. Love never fails. 🙂

  2. Malea Heim says:

    Today, I found a way to love others by connecting with family and friends via phone and video chat. Not only was I able to give love and encouragement I was able to receive love and encouragement.

  3. Jackie Adams says:

    Thank you for your words that encourage us in the midst of this pandemic to Know who God is, who we are, and what he asks us to do and that is love God and love others in whatever way The Holy spirit prompts us.
    We all can be a part of bringing and showing His love.

  4. Valerie Steele says:

    Thank you Susan,
    I have chosen to see the love that has been shared in so many ways during this crisis. That encourages me. Thank you for the encouragement to look at who I am and what is my Purpose. I think my Purpose right now is to love others and love myself with the love of Jesus. That Jesus love is full of healing and grace.

  5. Jodie Park says:

    Beautiful words of encouragement!

  6. Ruth Buller says:

    I appreciated the reminder that “his trial wasn’t over yet” after the 40 days. That stuck out to me. It was a helpful “check” on whatever we think the next step of this season might be.
    How will I spread love? Somedays by reaching out. Somedays by reaching in and recharging. And hopefully most days by connecting with my husband and kiddo in thoughtful ways. The thoughtful ideas I had at the start of this time at home seem to have somewhat dried up…so that’s a good place to start. Thanks Susan ❤️

  7. Kim Ainsley says:

    Amen indeed! Thank you dear sister for these Spirit-inspired words of encouragement. Love endures all this and What is yet to come. “I’m Kim and I love that Im a shiny, living mirror tile on a disco ball! Lets love one another and dance ??

    • Kim, your comment made me giggle! I’m so glad we’re both shiny-living-mirror tiles on this disco ball earth. It’s fun watching God’s love reflected in the many loving actions happening all around us. It’s sparkly!

  8. Wendy Campbell says:

    So encouraging and uplifting! We all need to be very intentional with our actions, words and personal growth.

  9. Jenn Phelps says:

    Well said! I feel, and stay with me, like this is the more grown-up, Biblical and insightful version of Mr. Rogers’ message to “Look for the helpers.” It’s scary, but the good is out there and it’s still in us, too. I think the personal growth I’m learning is grace; more grace for others, and especially for my self.
    P.S. Won’t you be my neighbor? 😉

  10. Roberta says:

    Thank you for sharing. “Love empowers….” it also strengthens, inspires and motivates. I know because love is sustaining me through this long season of isolation and waiting. Love shared in creative and small ways has touched my heart (painted rocks, six year olds singing, surprises on the sidewalk, even a visit from a hummingbird). I’m finding new ways to spread love around while mostly sheltered in place.
    “What the world needs now is love, sweet love…”?

    • Thank you, Roberta, for sharing the sweet ways love is sustaining you in this truly “long season of isolation.” Thank you for reminding us how vital even our smallest gestures of compassion towards one another can be. The world needs people just like you who are actively looking for ways to spread love.

  11. Deb Gruelle says:

    Thanks for the reminders to look for love and grace during these trying times, Susan.

    • I remember playing endless games of “I Spy…” with my kids. Usually we looked for colors, shapes, or specific objects. Perhaps now we could walk through our lives playing an updated “Coronavirus I Spy” version… I spy love in a chalk drawing. I spy love at the food bank, I spy the love of God flowing through you as you encourage us, Deb!

  12. Roberta says:

    I AM Totally doing that! THanks for the idea! I Spy Love in the beautiful yellow roses delivered by a Friend this morning. I am Going to share Your idea with some friends! We’ve ALREADY completed Coronavirus Vocabulary, CoronaVirus Gratitude ABC’s, And CoronaVIRUS Activity Bingo.

  13. Janine Widman says:

    Love wins! Thanks for the words and reminders that we can still act in this crisis and not just hunker down in isolation. We can love and be loved. From one disco square to another.

  14. Thank you, susan, for the big picture reminder that we “are here to love and be loved.” So encouraging and purposeful! Even in the midst of this crisis, I’ve been encouraged by a few spiritual conversations with my younger daughter who’s stuck with me at home, remote meeting with my bible study, and more frequent checking in with FRIENDS and family. God is good!

    • When people describe what’s going well for them during this crisis they usually talk about their interactions with others. Interesting, huh? We really are simple. We need to love and be loved. Thank you for sharing about your good times with the people you love, Rebecca.

  15. Rebecca domeier says:

    40 days
    When things are difficult i like to think of it as just putting one foot in front of the other (kinda like walking on a curb) thank you for your words of encouragement to keep moving forward!
    Love – I am receiving love by all the kids in our neighborhood – I had no idea so many kids lived so close. I am enjoying their beautiful chalk art.
    Giving love – i am dedicated to continue to be available and offer support to those in my path by whatever means is available (phone, web, 6ft apart, in the car, from the back yard , on the roof (not really – JK).
    Thank you for the lovely reminder of who we are in God is what really matters.

  16. Roberta says:

    I think Kelly Clarkson read your blog Post and then wrote a song! Check out “I Dare You To Love…” ?

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